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Iraqi police beat news photographer

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  • Reuters photographer hospitalized and released after Iraqi police beat him with rifles
  • Police said photographer ignored request to stay away from dangerous scene
  • Reuters said the photographer had permission to film the scene
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- An Iraqi photographer working for Reuters news agency was hospitalized Friday after police beat him at the scene of a suicide bombing, officials told CNN.

The unnamed still photographer was hospitalized and later released after five Iraqi police officers struck him on the head with AK-47 rifles, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official and Reuters said.

Seven people were killed in that suicide bombing, including an infant and four police officers.

A senior police official in Falluja said the photographer was taking pictures of the aftermath of the bombing in the western Iraqi city when he approached the photojournalist and asked him to stay back for his own safety. The official said he was concerned about the possibilities of more bombings and "American snipers."

The police official, who described the scene as chaotic, said the photographer disregarded the request and began taking pictures.

Reuters maintained that a senior police official had given the photographer permission to take pictures at the scene.

Police and the photographer began arguing, which led to violence, the official said. Reuters said it had a video cameraman there who was also beaten, but was not taken to the hospital. The agency said the photographer was "beaten up badly."

The five police officers involved were detained, and the case is under investigation, the Falluja police official said.

All About FallujahSuicide AttacksIraq War

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